Before our trip I read Of Love and Other Demons by Gabriel Garcia Marquez because it takes place IN Getsemani. It is the story of a twelve year old girl who, after being bitten by a rabid dog, is taken to live in confinement in a convent. Naturally, one of the priests falls in love with her cuz, why not. The book is their love story. I really enjoyed it.
In Colombia I read Fruit of the Drunken Tree by Ingrid Rojas Contreras, which I had been saving specifically for this trip. I’d been dying to read it and the story did not disappoint. Seven year old Chula befriends the family’s new live-in maid, a young girl named Petrona. The story flips between Chula’s and Petrona’s perspectives as they both navigate family dynamics in the time of Pablo Escobar’s reign in Colombia. Set in Bogota, the amazing thing about this story is that it is loosely based on the author’s real life story. Cannot recommend this enough!
Jennie and i both read Love in the Time of Cholera (another Gabriel Garcia Marquez) as well. It was a reread for me, as this is one of my favorite all time books and I have read it a few times. To me, the story of Florentino Ariza and Fermina Diaz is a familiar one…when you instantly fall passionately in love with someone only to realize you had sort of lost your mind in the moment! The idea of ‘romantic spark’ and if it can truly lead to a long standing love…or if it burns fast and furiously will it also fizzle fast and furiously? Anyway….this is my favorite Garcia Marquez book and I want everyone to read it!
A few weeks after we were back, a book I had ordered to take with arrived. Oblivion: A Memoir by Hector Abad tells the story of Hector’s father, also named Hector. Hector the elder, a doctor whose first priority was the health of the Colombian people, including clean water, publicly criticized the Colombian regime which eventually led to his death by paramilitaries in 1987. i am glad I read this book and would recommend it to anyone wondering about this time in Colombia’s history.
Honorable mentions go to these large art books by Colombian artists:
I picked both of these up at the Denver Public Library once I got back. Great editions.